White Sox @ Dodgers – June 14, 2023: Looking for the first series win in two weeks

Alternating wins and losses for the past six games, the Dodgers are looking for their first back-to-back victories since May 29 and 30 against the Washington Nationals.

That probably gives an idea of how rough the past month has been as the Dodgers are just 11-14 since May 16 when their six-game win streak came to an end and are just 2-8 after victories during that stretch. Sitting at 3-2 in Clayton Kershaw‘s five starts during that stretch, the Dodgers have won in his past three starts against the Rays, Yankees and Reds. Those offenses all rank among the Top 12 in the league in runs per game, with White Sox down at 24th.

Most importantly, Kershaw has lasted 7 innings in his past two starts and leads the team with five starts hitting 7 innings this season. That’s two more than the combined total of the Dodgers seven other starting pitchers this season as Julio Urias has worked through 7 innings twice and Dustin May once.

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7:10 P.M. Los Angeles
SS Anderson 2B Betts
1B Vaughn 1B Freeman (L)
CF Robert DH Martinez
DH Jimenez LF Peralta (L)
3B Burger 3B Taylor
LF Benintendi (L) RF Heyward (L)
C Grandal (S) CF Outman (L)
RF Frazier SS Rojas
2B Andrus C Barnes
P Clevinger (R) P Kershaw (L)

For the first time this season , David Peralta is in the clean-up spot with Max Muncy and Will Smith both out of the lineup. That leaves Smith, Miguel Vargas and Jonny Deluca available off the bench tonight. Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez have hit Mike Clevinger well in their careers, entering the night at 7-of-14 and 6-of-9 respectively.

The White Sox have Eloy Jiménez back in the lineup at designated hitter with Jake Burger moving to third base. Clint Frazier and Elvis Andrus are also starting for Chicago with Yoan Moncada, Gavin Sheets and Romy Gonzalez on the bench against Kershaw.


I said in yesterday’s game thread that the Dodgers had an advantage in starting pitching in the first two games of the series, with tonight being the greatest disparity in the series. Through 13 starts for Kershaw and 11 for Clevinger, he’s where the two rank this season.

IP76 1/358

Kershaw’s 30.3 K% is his highest K% since 2016 and ranks fourth among qualified pitchers behind only Spencer Strider‘s 40.3%, Shohei Ohtani‘s 33.3% and Kevin Gausman‘s 33.2%. While his strikeouts are up, Kershaw’s homers allowed is also up, as he’s already given up 10 this season to match last year’s total in 50 less innings pitched.

Matching a season-high nine strikeouts in his last outing against the Reds, Kershaw got eight of the nine swinging. Seven of those were on swing and misses against the slider, which has sat at a 35.0 Whiff% in nine of his 13 starts. The slider actually hit a season high in usage of 53.1% against the Reds, Kershaw’s highest for the pitch since October 2021.

As for Clevinger, his 18.9 K% remains consistent with 2022 after falling off significantly from 24.7% in 2021 and his career high of 33.9% in 2019. Coupled with a BB% that’s his highest since 2017, Clevinger’s K-BB% is his worst since his rookie season, while his batting average allowed is at a career high and his ground ball rate is at a career low.

Honestly, it’s all real bad.

Clevinger mixes in four pitches less than 10% of the time while relying on his fastball (94.0 mph) 49.8% of the time and his slider (79.9 mph) 27.8%. Right-handed batters are hitting that fastball well, with a .340 average and .453 slugging percentage, but have whiffed on the slider 35.8% of the time. A cutter is the third pitch to righties at 13.5% at 85.3 mph, but also has a .333 batting average and .600 slugging.

Left-handed batters get even more fastballs than righties, 57.0% to 44.0%, with much less sliders, 13.7% to 39.1%. It’s Clevinger’s change that takes over as his No. 2 pitch to lefties with a 26.3 Whiff% and .133 batting average. Lefties hit the slider well and don’t miss it much with a .333 batting average, .556 slugging and 10.0 Whiff%, but that’s on just 11 PAs. Lefties do have six home runs against the fastball that may have a .234 batting average but does have a .578 slugging.

The Yankees hit a pair of home runs in Clevinger’s last start, and since opening the year with a 2.20 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings, he’s at a 4.97 ERA with 34 strikeouts in 41 2/3 innings.


Shelby Miller is back from the bereavement list, which led to Adam Kolarek being designated for assignment. Since returning to the majors with the Dodgers ahead of Sunday’s game, Kolarek pitched in exactly one game as he allowed one hit in 1 1/3 innings while striking out two in Sunday’s bullpen game.

Given the constant movement, that means the Dodgers are back to three lefties in the bullpen with Victor Gonzalez, Alex Vesia and Caleb Ferguson, as well as six righties in Yency Almonte, Brusdar Graterol, Miller, Evan Phillips, Nick Robertson and Tayler Scott. Amazingly that’s still only two differences from Opening Day with Phil Bickford on the IL and Andre Jackson back in Triple-A, as well as an additional pitcher currently sitting in the roster spot of a fifth starter.


First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. PT on ESPN.

About Cody Bashore

Cody Bashore is a lifelong Dodger fan originally from Carpinteria, California (about 80 miles north of Dodger Stadium along the coast). He left California to attend Northern Arizona University in 2011, and has lived in Arizona full-time since he graduated in 2014 with a journalism degree.